Gabriel Medina Goes On Duke-of-Wellington-Esque Rampage, Wins ISA World Games, Locks In 2024 Olympic Spot - Stab Mag

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We'll see Gabriel at the End of the Road in July. Photo: ISA

Gabriel Medina Goes On Duke-of-Wellington-Esque Rampage, Wins ISA World Games, Locks In 2024 Olympic Spot

The surfers for the 2024 Paris Olympics are (almost) decided.

news // Mar 3, 2024
Words by August Howell
Reading Time: 4 minutes

If the Brazilian Storm appears to be waning early on in the 2024 Championship Tour, they’re making up for it with Olympic spots. 

Both Brazil’s men’s and women’s teams won the 2024 ISA World Games in Puerto Rico today, giving both genders an extra (third) surfer in the upcoming Paris Olympics at Teahupo’o in July. Brazil has now six surfers qualified for the games, the most of any participating country. 

By winning the event, Gabriel Medina lifted his team (Filipe Toledo and Yago Dora) to the top of the leaderboard over 54 other counties, thus securing his bid to represent Brazil this summer. Prior to the event, Brazil determined that Gabriel would be the county’s third surfer should the men win the ISA games.

This is interesting since Italo Ferreira, the reigning Olympic gold medalist, wasn’t afforded an opportunity to earn a spot to defend his title. Meanwhile Yago Dora, who also had no chance at Olympic qualification, surfed through 10 heats this week in Puerto Rico to give Gabriel a shot at Tahitian glory. Hell of a friend.

Photo: ISA / Jersson Barboza

In a career marked by clutch performances, this has to be one of Gabe’s defining moments. More than six months ago, Gabe was boxed out of the chance to qualify for his Olympic team when Jack Robinson beat him in the final at the 2023 Tahiti Pro. Left out of the WSL Finals with Joao Chianca and Filipe ahead of him in the leaderboard, Gabe’s only remaining chance to get an invite to Tahiti (and a room on the cruise ship) was for the Brazilian men to win the 2024 ISA World Games. 

With a calm efficiency that would shame a samurai, Gabe won (as in first place every time in four-man bouts) all eight of his heats over nine days at Margara. In the final, he drowned his rail and clicked solid air reverses to get a 9 and a 7.40, which got him past Ramzi Boukhiam, Kauli Vaast and Joan Duru, all of whom had already clinched an Olympic invite. A huge performance from a man who adores backbreaking Chopes, and will be a menace to anyone in the draw when the games commence. 

Medina’s three last heats, murking Frenchmen like he’s the Duke of Wellington. Had Kauli or Joan won the final, they’d have earned France the extra slot instead of Brazil.

“I didn’t know if my spot was going to come, but I just tried to give my best. [If] I don’t go, someone else is going to go, and that’s it, we are a team. I think everyone was in that spirit, so that helps a lot,” Medina said after the heat. “I want to thank all the Brazilian team that worked really hard behind the scenes as well. That was amazing.”

On the women’s side, Sally Fitzgibbons won the final over Tatiana Weston-Webb, Johanne Defay,  and Spain’s Nadia Erostarbe. That’s Sally’s fourth ISA W, btw. With Tati’s silver, the Brazilian women won the team title. We’re still waiting to hear who they’ll select for their spot. 

Though Sally had a stellar event, her win at the ISA world games does not give her a ticket to Teahupo’o this July. Photo: ISA / Pablo Franco

Here’s a complete list of (almost*) everyone who’s qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics:

2024 WSG

Men (6): Rio Waida (INA), Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR), Joan Duru (FRA), Tim Elter (GER), Andy Criere (ESP) and Alonso Correa (PER)

Women (8): Anat Lelior (ISR), Camilla Kemp (GER), Janire Gonzalez-Extabarri (ESP), Nadia Erostarbe (ESP), Siqi Yang (CHN), Sol Aguirre (PER), Taina Hinckel (BRA), Yolanda Sequeira (POR)

Men (1): Team Brazil — spot will likely go to Gabriel Medina

Women (1): Team Brazil – spot will likely go to Luana Silva

2023 WSL CT

Men (10): John Florence, Filipe Toledo, Ethan Ewing, Griffin Colapinto, Leo Fioravanti, Joao Chianca, Jack Robinson, Matt McGillivray, Jordy Smith, Kanoa Igarashi. 

Women (8): Tyler Wright, Carissa Moore, Tatiana Weston-Webb, Johanne Defay, Brisa Hennessy, Teresa Bonvalot, Caroline Marks, Molly Picklum. 

2023 World Surfing Games

Men (4): Alan Cleland Jr., Reo Inaba, Kauli Vaast, Billy Stairmand

Women (4): Sarah Baum, Shino Matsuda, Vahine Fierro, Saffi Vette

2023 Pan Am Games

Men (1): Lucca Mesinas

Women (1): Sanoa Dempfle-Olin

2022 WSG Team Winners Slot

Men (1): Team Japan – TBD who they’ll give their third slot to. 

Women (1): Caitlin Simmers; (Team USA used the 2023 WSL Tahiti Pro to determine this slot.)

Universality

Men (1): TBD

Women (1): TBD

*The two remaining surfers (one male, one female) will come from the Olympics’ new ‘universality’ rule, which is basically a way of getting non-major surfing nations involved in the Games. The IOC has yet to declare who these surfers will be.

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